COP28 UAE, WHO unveil climate, health declaration

New Delhi, Dec 2: The COP28 Presidency collaborated with the World Health Organization (WHO) to introduce the “COP28 UAE Declaration on Climate and Health” at the World Climate Action Summit.

This momentous declaration, endorsed by 123 countries, precedes the inaugural Health Day at a COP and signifies the first-ever global acknowledgment of the imperative for governments to safeguard communities and fortify healthcare systems against climate-related health threats.

   

Developed with the support of ‘country champions,’ including India Brazil, Malawi, the UK, the US, the Netherlands, Kenya, Fiji, Egypt, Sierra Leone, and Germany, the Declaration comes at a time when annual deaths from polluted air approach 9 million, and 189 million people face extreme weather-related events annually.

COP28 President Dr. Sultan Al Jaber emphasized, “The impacts of climate change are already at our door…Governments have now rightly recognized health as a crucial element of climate action.” The Declaration underscores the urgency of reducing global emissions and collaborative efforts to strengthen healthcare systems.

WHO Director-General Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus lauded the UAE’s commitment to prioritizing health in COP28 and welcomed the declaration, emphasizing the need for climate-resilient and low-carbon health systems.

Malawi’s President Lazarus Chakwera, one of the first countries to endorse the Declaration, highlighted the firsthand impact of climate change on health and called for bold investments in health, a just transition away from fossil fuels, and a healthier future for all.

The Declaration outlines action areas such as building climate-resilient health systems, promoting cross-sectoral collaboration to reduce emissions, increasing finance for climate and health solutions, and incorporating health targets in national climate plans. Signatories commit to international collaboration to address health risks at future COPs.

Recognizing finance as a significant driver, the COP28 Presidency partnered with the Global Fund, Green Climate Fund, The Rockefeller Foundation, and WHO to unveil the COP28 Guiding Principles for Financing Climate and Health Solutions. Over 40 financing partners endorsed these principles, pledging $1 billion to address the climate-health crisis.

COP28’s Health Day on December 3 will host the first-ever climate and health Ministerial, with over 100 countries participating. The event will bring together climate and global health financiers, development banks, countries, philanthropies, and the private sector to address country priorities and scale up finance interventions.

Taking place at Expo City Dubai from November 30 to December 12, COP28 UAE aims to convene over 70,000 participants, delivering the first-ever Global Stocktake as mandated by the Paris Climate Agreement.

The UAE seeks to lead a comprehensive evaluation of progress against climate goals and establish a roadmap for a global energy transition and inclusive climate action.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi was in Dubai at the inaugural of COP28.  Prime Minister Narendra Modi, alongside UAE President Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, played a pivotal role in Dubai during the opening of COP28.

On December 1, 2023, they co-hosted the High-level event on the ‘Green Credits Programme,’ which featured the participation of esteemed leaders such as  Ulf Kristersson, Prime Minister of Sweden, Filipe Nyusi, President of Mozambique, and Charles Michel, President of the European Council.

During the event, Prime Minister Modi actively engaged in COP-28 Presidency’s Session on “Transforming Climate Finance,” where the focus was on enhancing the availability, accessibility, and affordability of climate finance for developing countries.

In another significant collaboration, Prime Minister Modi, alongside H.E. Ulf Kristersson, Prime Minister of Sweden, co-launched Phase-II of the Leadership Group for Industry Transition (LeadIT 2.0) for the period 2024-26 at COP-28 in Dubai. This initiative underscores their commitment to driving transformative changes in industry practices to address climate challenges.

 

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